Put your best feet
forward this summer
your heels,” she says. Her advice: “Use sunscreen whenever you wear sandals and open-toe shoes or lie on the beach with your feet
exposed to the sun.”
Moisturize your feet with a soothing
foot cream daily. Geoghan suggests that, for
best results, you should avoid creams that
contain alcohol. “Instead,” she says, “look for
lotions and creams that have the ingredient
urea.” Urea cream is used for treating dermatological disorders such as dry skin and any
other related skin conditions. This cream
helps the skin replenish its water stores,
smoothes out wrinkles
and heals dry skin.
Urea is a substance
that readily absorbs
water, and it also has a
very high water content, which helps to
reduce the amount of
water lost through the skin. Because of urea’s
natural moisturizing factor, it can help to heal
dry, flaky skin.
Geoghan adds that you should be mindful of extremely dry and cracked skin, especially on your heels: “You might want to check
with your health-care professional to rule out
other possible causes, including thyroid problems, psoriasis or diabetes.”
Change your shoes regularly and your
By Claudia M. Caruana
YOUR FEET ARE MEANT to get you where
you need to go. So it is no surprise that the
average person walks close to 75,000 miles
before reaching age 50, according to the
American Podiatric Medicine Association.
That distance is the equivalent of five round
trip flights from New York to London.
Unfortunately, feet don’t always get the
recognition, much less the respect, they merit,
It’s not difficult to
give your feet the care they deserve, however.
Here are several suggestions for happier feet
Use sunscreen on your feet, advises Dr.
Kelly Geoghan, a podiatrist at Mercy Medical
Center in Baltimore. “Although most folks
remember to use sunscreen on their face,
The possible result? “A nasty sunburn on
the tops of your feet, soles, toes and backs of
The Costco Connection
Products for foot care such as sunscreen, lotion, anti-fungal cream and
more are available at Costco and
Costco.com. Costco and Costco.com
also offer a variety of shoes, including
Tom’s shoes on Costco.com.
socks more than once a day, especially if your
feet are sweaty. “Consider socks made with
materials that wick away excess moisture,”
advises Dr. Shana Miskovasky, a foot and
ankle specialist and orthopedic surgeon with
University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve
University, in Cleveland. “They also can help
prevent stubborn foot fungus such as athlete’s
foot because they keep your feet dry.”
Although many over-the-counter anti-
fungal creams will cure athlete’s foot or other
foot fungus, sometimes a prescription cream
is necessary, especially for nail fungus,
Geoghan says. “Often, laser treatments are
used by podiatrists and physicians to treat
stubborn nail fungal infections,” she reports.
Avoid flip-flops except while at home or
at the pool, gym or on the beach. Most foot-care specialists are concerned that flip-flops
provide no foot support and cause heels to
slide, both of which can result in foot injuries.
But there is another compelling reason to
reconsider living in them during your summer
days: bacteria. Even thinking about the bacteria lurking on a pair of flip-flops that have been
worn on city streets, at the park and in public
lavatories is enough to make one sick. In several well-publicized examinations of flip-flops
worn in large cities and a study done at the
University of Miami a couple of years ago,
researchers found that millions of bacteria can
easily reside right under your feet. Yuck!
Special foot concerns for diabetics
Dr. Deborah Velasco, a podiatrist in pri-
vate practice in New York City, says people
living with diabetes must check their feet and
moisturize them daily to prevent complica-
tions that can result from their condition. She
advises, “Wear shoes that are closed and avoid
ones that have open toes. Don’t walk barefoot.
Walking barefoot could be more detrimental
to your health than helpful.”
Like many physicians who treat diabetic
patients, she advises hers not to have salon
pedicures because of the possible dangers of
Claudia M. Caruana is a New York–based
health and medical writer.
The average person
walks close to 75,000
miles before reaching
age 50...the equiva-
lent of five round trip
flights from New
York to London.